A Good Year to Die

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It was 1876, The Black Hills, which overlap the boundary between South Dakota and Wyoming, had become the last important battleground of a tragic war against the Indians. The Indians were to be trapped in a three-pronged attack by General Crook, General Terry, and Colonel Custer, but the rugged country - where the temperature could often dip thirty to forty degrees in just a few hours - thwarted almost every foray. By the time the campaign had ended, the army had suffered several major reversals: Custer and his ...
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New York, NY 1995 Hard cover First edition. STATED 1ST EDITION New in new dust jacket. BRIGHT CLEAN, BRAND NEW Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 412 p. Contains: Illustrations. ... Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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New York, NY 1995 Hard cover New in fine dust jacket. BOOK AS NEW, DJ BRIGHT SHINY, ASSORTED SLIGHT EDGE ROUTHNESS Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 412 p. Contains: ... Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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A Good Year to Die: The Story of the Great Sioux War

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Overview

It was 1876, The Black Hills, which overlap the boundary between South Dakota and Wyoming, had become the last important battleground of a tragic war against the Indians. The Indians were to be trapped in a three-pronged attack by General Crook, General Terry, and Colonel Custer, but the rugged country - where the temperature could often dip thirty to forty degrees in just a few hours - thwarted almost every foray. By the time the campaign had ended, the army had suffered several major reversals: Custer and his troops were massacred at the Little Bighorn and General George Crook met with near-disaster at the Rosebud; the brilliant Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse was dead; Sitting Bull and his band had been driven to Canada; and the military power of the Sioux and the Northern Cheyennes was broken. The government achieved its aims, but the casualties both sides had suffered made these wars the most unnecessary ever fought between the federal government and the Indians. Much of the dramatic narrative is based on first-hand accounts of the participants, diaries and letters of American soldiers, and the oral histories of many of the Indians who fought them.

This is the dramatic story of the most crucial year in the history of the American West, 1876, when the wars between the United States Government and the Indian Nations reached a peak. Telling a great deal about Indian cultures, history, beliefs and personality, this is the first book to cover the whole year, rather than simply its components. 16-page photo insert. 3 maps.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is a provocative analysis of the Plains War of 1876 by an established scholar in the field. Making sophisticated use of Native American accounts, Robinson (Bad Hand: A Biography of General Ranald S. Mackenzie) demonstrates that the initial balance of forces was by no means unequal. The U.S. Army did not have the numbers, the doctrine or the leadership to win the kinds of decisive battles it expected to win. Robinson is particularly critical of generals George Crook and George A. Custer and correspondingly complimentary toward such Lakota warrior-statesmen as Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. The work's centerpiece is the Little Bighorn, where Robinson believes Custer's exhausted men panicked in the face of superior numbers. The battle's principal importance, however, was as a catalyst. In its aftermath, the U.S. made available resources for the kind of attritional war the Plains Indians had no hope of waging successfully. This sympathetic account will appeal especially to those interested in Native American culture and history. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Library Journal
The Sioux battle cry is Hoka Key!, or "It's a good day to die!" The year to die, 1876, is the pivotal year in the Sioux wars, when record numbers of soldiers and Native Americans died; it is also the year of Custer's defeat, causing a newly aware and outraged public to demand an accelerated war against the Natives. Robinson (Bad Hand: A Biography of General Ronald S. Mackenzie, LJ 3/1/93) traces battles, describes rivalries and self-promotion by officers, and discusses the press and public opinion at this crucial time, debunking mythology. His well-founded overview of the Sioux wars, drawn from manuscripts, archaeology, military records, and newspapers, joins other recent recommended works such as Jerome Greene's Yellowstone Command (LJ 4/1/92), a military history of Gen. Nelson Miles's command, and Robert M. Utley's The Lance and the Shield (LJ 6/15/93), a biography of Sitting Bull. Recommended for public libraries.Margaret W. Norton, J. Sterling Morton H.S., Berwyn, Ill.
Booknews
Much of this dramatic narrative of the federal government's final campaign to crush the Cheyenne and the Sioux is based on firsthand accounts of the participants, diaries and letters of soldiers, and the oral histories of many of the Indians who fought them. It focuses on the year 1876 and the battleground of the Black Hills overlapping South Dakota and Wyoming. By the time the campaign had ended the US had achieved its aims but the casualties were huge: Custer and his troops were massacred at the Little Bighorn; Gen. George Crook met with near-disaster at Rosebud; the Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse was dead. Meanwhile Sitting Bull and his band had been driven to Canada, and the military power of the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne was broken. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Roland Green
Narrative history does not get much better than this. Too many books on the Great Sioux War of 1876 focus on the late, lamentable George Armstrong Custer. Robinson covers in ample but not excessive detail all the circumstances--broken treaties, gold rushes, and corrupt Indian agents among the foremost--that led to the war. He then describes the course of the war, which was fought as much against climate and terrain as against human foes and in which every degree of skill and courage, from the highest to the totally nonexistent, was exhibited by both sides. We learn that Crazy Horse was not a real generalissimo for the Sioux, that George Crook was not always as good as he has been painted, that the decisive victory of the campaign was probably won by the almost unknown Ranald McKenzie. Throughout, we are entertained while being informed. Superlative.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679430254
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/3/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.43 (d)

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